South Carolina lost 76-61 against Mississippi State in a game that will almost for sure affect the Gamecocks’ tournament chances.
The worst part is that USC was up 30-14 with four minutes left in the first half. However, it all went downhill from there.
The Gamecocks went into halftime up by seven, but came out in the second half and didn’t live up to expectations.
The game changed when Mississippi State hit basically every shot, but the Gamecocks couldn’t hit anything. South Carolina went a solid five minutes without scoring in the second half and could never recover.
Chris Silva is the leader of the Gamecocks and when he doesn’t play well, then the team won’t play well. Silva only played 19 minutes because of foul trouble, and he only put up five points and made one out of his six field goals. The Gamecocks always play better when Silva stays out of foul trouble.
Maik Kotsar did put up 13 points, but only made one out of six of his free throws. The team altogether only made 50 percent of their free throws.
The one bright spot from this game was another solid performance by AJ Lawson, who put up 18 points. It has become clear that Lawson will become a popular player by the time his career at South Carolina is done. Lawson has been the consistent shooter that the Gamecocks have been looking for, but if the Gamecocks want to win these tough conference games, they will need the whole team to step up.
South Carolina has four games left in the regular season and even if they win out, they will have to make a run in the SEC tournament if the want to make the NCAA Tournament. South Carolina still holds the fourth spot in the SEC and if they can keep that spot and end up in the semi-finals of the SEC tournament, it will be hard for the selection committee to ignore them.
Carolina will return home to play Alabama on Tuesday.